UNA splits with West Alabama baseball

After dropping its Gulf South Conference baseball opener 5-2, the University of North Alabama rebounded for a 6-3 win in the nightcap to earn a split with West Alabama.

UNA, ranked 11th nationally in the NCAA Division II, is now 13-5 overall and 1-1 in GSC play. West Alabama is 9-8 and 1-1.

Trey Mitchell started for UNA in the opener but was touched for five runs in the first three innings. Two unearned runs scored in the first, then the Tigers added two runs in the second and one in the third on home runs. Mitchell would shutout UWA for the next four innings and left the game after the seventh, allowing five runs on eight hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Casey Jones pitched a scoreless inning of relief but UNA could not rally.

UNA's only scoring in the opening game came in the fifth. Jared Mothershed walked and stole second base and Josh Carpenter then singled and stole second. Mothershed scored on an errant throw and Carpenter later scored on an RBI single by Dale Ricketts. The Lions left two runners on base in the fifth and two more in the sixth.

Mitchell took the loss to frop to 4-1. Barry Meeks (2-1) got the win for West Alabama, pitching three and a third innings of relief.

In the nightcap UNA jumped on the Tigers with four runs in the first. Blake Stroth, Josh Cyr and J.P. Lamunyon all walked before Mothershed delivered a bases-clearing three-run triple. After a Carpenter single, Mothershed scored during a run-down to make it 4-0. UNA added a run in the sixth on a Cyr single and an RBI double from LaMunyon

UNA starter Johnny Hornbuckle (3-1) carried a no-hitter into the sixth but ran into trouble with one out. Reliever Joel Sessions came on with the bases loaded and two outs and a 5-1 lead and recorded a strikeout to end the threat. Sessions then ran into trouble of his own in the seventh as UWA scored two runs and had two runners on base before he closed the game out for his third save.

Carpenter extended his current hitting streak to 13 games and LaMunyon has now hit safely in 16 of the 17 games that he has played in this season. North Alabama plays at Harding on Tuesday.